News Releases

News Release - Manitoba

QUéBEC AND MANITOBA JOIN FORCES TO GROW A STRONG GREEN ECONOMY



RIO DE JANEIRO, June 19, 2012 -Québec Premier Jean Charest and Manitoba Premier Greg Selinger, in Rio for the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development, agreed today to strengthen their provincial relations and work together on specific initiatives to develop the green economies of their respective provinces and throughout Canada.

Both premiers took part in Climate Group activities during the conference and Premier Charest was pleased to see Manitoba join the EV-20 initiative.  Launched in Copenhagen in 2009, EV-20 focuses on the electrification of transportation and seeks to accelerate the growth of the electric vehicle market through 2020.  Québec and Manitoba also agreed to share best practices as they work toward replacing high-polluting power stations that currently serve remote northern communities with clean, renewable energy sources.

For Mr. Charest, this co-operation makes sense since the two provinces have a lot in common. Both are major producers of hydroelectricity, a renewable, green energy source, which translates into jobs in the green economy and low carbon footprints in each jurisdiction.  The provinces also encompass vast northern regions that are now feeling the brunt of climate change.  

“Whether it’s melting polar ice and the consequences for the polar bear’s natural habitat, or thawing permafrost and its impact on buildings in northern communities, Québec and Manitoba are both facing the concrete realities of global warming,” stated Mr. Charest.  “We also share a strong desire to combat climate change, evidenced by the Manitoba government’s TomorrowNow Green Plan and Québec’s Climate Change Action Plan.”

“Joining Québec and the global EV-20 alliance is a natural fit for us as we work with our local partners to develop a made-in-Manitoba electric bus to serve the North American market,” said Premier Selinger.  “This initiative, along with our focus on developing hydro responsibly and converting remote northern communities from diesel to renewable energy, will create jobs and demonstrate that what’s good for our environment is good for our economy.” 

The two premiers pointed out that regional governments such as provinces and states have often taken the lead on environmental issues, showing time and again that it is feasible and even necessary to link economic development to environmental protection and climate change.  By forging partnerships, creating joint initiatives and sharing best practices, it will be possible to convince governments all over the world to speed up the transition to a vibrant green economy.

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This news release is being distributed on behalf of the governments of Quebec and Manitoba.